March 25, 2003 --- Vol. 9, No. 31March 2003

Governor approves DNR appointments, including Myers

Gov. Frank Murkowski has approved four Department of Natural Resources appointments: Dick LeFebvre as deputy commissioner, Jeff Jahnke as Forestry Division director; Bob Loeffler as Mining, Land and Water Division director; and Mark Myers, as Oil and Gas Division director.

The three division directors have been in those positions.

LeFebvre, who has been acting deputy commissioner, worked as a senior land manager for DNR from 1976 until his retirement in 2001. Last September he was appointed by then-Gov. Tony Knowles as state manager for the Point Thomson project as part of a memorandum of understanding between the state and ExxonMobil to streamline permitting for the project. LeFebvre had served as deputy director of lands for DNR and for nine years was the large-mine coordinator leading the state permitting of several major mines including Fort Knox, True North and Greeks Creek.

MMS asks for nominations for Norton Sound, Chukchi Sea-Hope Basin

The Minerals Management Service is asking companies for expressions of interest in leasing in the Norton Basin and Chukchi Sea-Hope Basin. The agency said separate calls for information and nominations for the outer continental shelf areas were published in the Federal Register today, the first step in an 18-month process.

A Norton basin sale is tentatively scheduled for fall 2004, subject to interest. This area is in Norton Sound and the northern Bering Sea, west and south of the Seward Peninsula, and covers some 25 million acres.

A Chukchi Sea-Hope Basin sale, tentatively scheduled for fall 2004 subject to industry interest, is in the Chukchi Sea from Point Barrow south to Cape Krusenstern. The Chukchi Sea area covers about 34 million acres.

MMS is requesting nominations of "small, very specific areas" where companies "are willing to commit to exploration." MMS will use the information received to make the decision whether to proceed with leasing.

MMS said that for these frontier areas it "is considering offering economic incentives for this sale similar to the type offered recently in the Proposed Notice of Sale for Beaufort Sea Sale186."

Nominations and comments must be received by June 23.

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